Lot 1041

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(1902 - 1989) Iranian Grand Ayatollah and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution as the highest ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. Very rare and important L.S., 1p. 8vo., [Neauphle-le-Château, France, ca. Feb. 1, 1979], in Farsi with contemporary translation into French on integral leaf. On the very eve of Khomeini's triumphant return to Iran and the subsequent establishment of an Islamic government in that country, the ayatollah thanks French police and gendarmerie officials for having protected his life while in exile from Iran. Addressed to the chief of police, it reads in part: "...At this time, after almost four months of residence in your department, I return to my country. I express my satisfaction with the efficacious services of the members of the police and the gendarmerie as they concern security, under the direction of Mr. Ferrand and Colonel Lanvin whose value I recommend to their higher authorities...". Boldly signed and in fine condition. To escape prosecution, Khomeini remained in exile for fifteen years - within Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and finally for four months in France. The Shah refused French offers of deportation, fearing that Khomeini would establish himself in a neighboring country. French President Valery d'Estaing is also believed to have offered to "eliminate" Khomeini. The ayatollah's return to Iran immediately after this letter, and its consequences, are now world history.

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September 11, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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